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1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.

8 And there was great joy in that city.

9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:

10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.

11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.

12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,

28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?

31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:

33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Commentary for Acts 8

Saul persecutes the church. (1-4) Philip's success at Samaria. Simon the sorcerer baptized. (5-13) The hypocrisy of Simon detected. (14-25) Philip and the Ethiopian. (26-40)1-4 Though persecution must not drive us from our work, yet it may send us to work elsewhere. Wherever the established believer is driven, he carries the knowledge of the gospel, and makes known the preciousness of Christ in every place. Where a simple desire of doing good influences the heart, it will be found impossible to shut a man out from all opportunities of usefulness.

5-13 As far as the gospel prevails, evil spirits are dislodged, particularly unclean spirits. All inclinations to the lusts of the flesh which war against the soul are such. Distempers are here named, the most difficult to be cured by the course of nature, and most expressive of the disease of sin. Pride, ambition, and desire after grandeur have always caused abundance of mischief, both to the world and to the church. The people said of Simon, This man is the great power of God. See how ignorant and thoughtless people mistake. But how strong is the power of Divine grace, by which they were brought to Christ, who is Truth itself! The people not only gave heed to what Philip said, but were fully convinced that it was of God, and not of men, and gave up themselves to be directed thereby. Even bad men, and those whose hearts still go after covetousness, may come before God as his people come, and for a time continue with them. And many wonder at the proofs of Divine truths, who never experience their power. The gospel preached may have a common operation upon a soul, where it never produced inward holiness. All are not savingly converted who profess to believe the gospel.

14-25 The Holy Ghost was as yet fallen upon none of these coverts, in the extraordinary powers conveyed by the descent of the Spirit upon the day of Pentecost. We may take encouragement from this example, in praying to God to give the renewing graces of the Holy Ghost to all for whose spiritual welfare we are concerned; for that includes all blessings. No man can give the Holy Spirit by the laying on of his hands; but we should use our best endeavours to instruct those for whom we pray. Simon Magus was ambitious to have the honour of an apostle, but cared not at all to have the spirit and disposition of a Christian. He was more desirous to gain honour to himself, than to do good to others. Peter shows him his crime. He esteemed the wealth of this world, as if it would answer for things relating to the other life, and would purchase the pardon of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. This was such a condemning error as could by no means consist with a state of grace. Our hearts are what they are in the sight of God, who cannot be deceived. And if they are not right in his sight, our religion is vain, and will stand us in no stead. A proud and covetous heart cannot be right with God. It is possible for a man to continue under the power of sin, yet to put on a form of godliness. When tempted with money to do evil, see what a perishing thing money is, and scorn it. Think not that Christianity is a trade to live by in this world. There is much wickedness in the thought of the heart, its false notions, and corrupt affections, and wicked projects, which must be repented of, or we are undone. But it shall be forgiven, upon our repentance. The doubt here is of the sincerity of Simon's repentance, not of his pardon, if his repentance was sincere. Grant us, Lord, another sort of faith than that which made Simon wonder only, and did not sanctify his heart. May we abhor all thoughts of making religion serve the purposes of pride or ambition. And keep us from that subtle poison of spiritual pride, which seeks glory to itself even from humility. May we seek only the honour which cometh from God.

26-40 Philip was directed to go to a desert. Sometimes God opens a door of opportunity to his ministers in very unlikely places. We should study to do good to those we come into company with by travelling. We should not be so shy of all strangers as some affect to be. As to those of whom we know nothing else, we know this, that they have souls. It is wisdom for men of business to redeem time for holy duties; to fill up every minute with something which will turn to a good account. In reading the word of God, we should often pause, to inquire of whom and of what the sacred writers spake; but especially our thoughts should be employed about the Redeemer. The Ethiopian was convinced by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, of the exact fulfilment of the Scripture, was made to understand the nature of the Messiah's kingdom and salvation, and desired to be numbered among the disciples of Christ. Those who seek the truth, and employ their time in searching the Scriptures, will be sure to reap advantages. The avowal of the Ethiopian must be understood as expressing simple reliance on Christ for salvation, and unreserved devotion to Him. Let us not be satisfied till we get faith, as the Ethiopian did, by diligent study of the Holy Scriptures, and the teaching of the Spirit of God; let us not be satisfied till we get it fixed as a principle in our hearts. As soon as he was baptized, the Spirit of God took Philip from him, so that he saw him no more; but this tended to confirm his faith. When the inquirer after salvation becomes acquainted with Jesus and his gospel, he will go on his way rejoicing, and will fill up his station in society, and discharge his duties, from other motives, and in another manner than heretofore. Though baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, with water, it is not enough without the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Lord, grant this to every one of us; then shall we go on our way rejoicing.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Acts 8

  • Chris on Acts 8:37
    Adding or taking away has serious consequences.

    The serpent added the word "not".

    Revelation says "to him who adds to this book, to him shall be added the plagues written in this book. To him who takes away, his name will be taken out of the book of life.

    Now..double check your choice.

    Loving the truth has a great reward attached. Gods protection against deception! But if you do not love the truth, God will deceive you. (2 thes.2)
  • Adam - in Reply on Acts 8:37
    Hi Chris,

    I don't believe God deceives people, but he allows satan to, and for you to deceive yourselves. In the past God used special circumstances to interact someone more than normal too, like hardening Pharaohs heart, like allowing satan to tempt Job, allowing people to not see or understand things unless they genuinely sought the truth. If you look at 2 Thessalonians 2:11 it said God sent them a 'delusion'. It says in verse 9 satan is behind it. How do you know for certain that God didn't just allow satan to do the tempting? He could have easily been the delusion. It doesn't say God 'made' them believe the lie either, it was likely still their own choice. People can often blind themselves by having a hard heart. Jesus said that's why he spoke in parables that way: Matthew 13:13.

    So, I provided evidence that is consistent with the rest of scripture that I do not believe God tempts James 1:13 or deceives people, but that for everyone He allows satan to roam and tempt, and in certain circumstances in the Bible he interacted more intimately with people to truly challenge them so that through it God's glory would be revealed.

    God bless...
  • Richard - in Reply on Acts 8:37
    To Adam, on your reply to Chris:

    I very much agree with your statement. As their is much out there to deceive but God knows everything. As I know the Word of God is in the Bible I believe the Lord want's us to search it out instead of just believing every single word in the book. With my own eyes I have seen things that just don't feel right, things changed through versions, and things removed through versions of the Bible also. This proves the Word of God is not preserved in a book printed by man. The 1611 KJV is the best we have to my knowledge. Love one another my brothers an sisters, repent from sin and bear good fruit to make the Lord happy. Life may not be easy but keep your faith and pray. Our Eternal Father loves you and will not fail you. God bless you all in Jesus Christ!
  • Carleton - in Reply on Acts 8:37
    The hedge that surrounded Job is the True Church, the Bride of Christ. This is a lamb's protection, outside of this Church, the hedge is far more dangerous and leaves for far more influences that can steal and kill the Truth once delivered. Job did not at first understand the quality of that hedge but he learned later the Truth of it. Our righteousness is within the hedge and not of ourselves, if we try to work around this hedge we are poor, blind and naked.
  • Andy G van den Berg on Acts 8
    Acts 8:22

    The Word of God is God (John 1:1) and is not of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20).

    The word 'Repent' means a lot more than what people by nature have been conditioned to believe. It is the key principle of all the teachings of Jesus Christ and the axiom (basis) of the Word of God and a prerequisite and primary requirement for the salvation of mankind. It actually means the changing of spirits - to turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18).



    For a better understanding and the 'spiritual truth' of what it means to repent, and learn how and by whom mankind has been deceived (Rev. 12:9) and what people must do to be reunited with the true and living God, we invite you to seek Him according to the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive (Matthew 7:7; John 14:17).

    You need not that any man teach you (Isaiah 54:13; 6:45; 1 John 2:27), as mankind follows after an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; Gal. 4:8; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; Rev. 12:9).

    It is only by revelation of God that you will come to know the true Christ (Daniel 12:4,9; Amos 3:7; Matthew 16:17; Luke 2:26; Romans 16:25; 1 Cor. 2:10; Gal. 1:16; Eph. 3:3,5; Rev. 1:1), and only then will you be able to overcome the spirit of this world (1 John 5:4; Rev. 3:21) and learn what it means to Repent and how this whole world has been deceived (Rev. 12:9). It should also be remembered that it is a narrow way that leadeth unto 'Life', and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14).

    LUKE 15:10. LIKEWISE, I SAY UNTO YOU, THERE IS JOY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ANGELS OF GOD OVER ONE SINNER THAT REPENTETH
  • Unknow on Acts 8
    I Really Like Acts chapter 8 its one of my favorites chapeters in this KJV Bible.
  • I AM THAT I AM: on Acts 8
    O proud man, know ye not that the Son of God chose ye that ye may live? It is written, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
  • Joe - in Reply on Acts 8
    And Simon still did not get it - he asked Peter to pray for him instead of repenting himself.
  • I AM THAT I AM: on Acts 8
    You boasted of your pride to the Son: and falsely confessed his Name: and thought you and thy seed were me. Leaning on thine own understanding, ye glorified thyself and not GOD when reading this Scripture: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter: and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation?
  • Gabriel on Acts 8
    The weak and unbelievers made righteous through the grace and power of God


 

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What did Simon the Sorcerer think he could buy from Peter and the disciples?
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